Fawzi Hussein Al Hamad and his wife Sana Al Hamad say they are speechless while watching the destruction and devastation happening in Aleppo — the place they once called home.
The couple and their four children are from the city’s Bustan al-Pasha neighbourhood and came to Canada just under a year ago as government sponsored refugees.
“It’s very difficult. I can’t speak. I can’t tell you what I feel,” Sana told Global News through a translator from their home in Mississauga. “We didn’t expect this to happen at all. Even when the war started, at the beginning, we said it might last for a short period of time and everything would be fine. We never expected this.”
Fawzi said the devastation in Aleppo didn’t feel real to them.
“It was like a dream,” he said. “It was like we were living in a dream and then suddenly everything changed and everything was damaged.”
Sana and Fawzi were working as bakers in Aleppo before they fled the country with their children.
Sana said she remembers having to shield them from the sounds of bombs coming from outside.
“My kids would ask me, ‘What’s that mom? What are these voices? What are these bombings? are we safe?’ and I’m trying to give them hope,” Sana said.
“Sometimes I would raise the volume of the television to make them not feel afraid, but my kids would wake up in the middle of the night, afraid.”
The couple left all of their possessions behind in Syria and they have no idea what’s left of their home.
They now lives in Mississauga, where they are attending English classes and their children are in school. Sana said while the transition wasn’t easy she is happy to be safe in Canada.
“We had no idea about Canada … we were a little scared to live here in a new country,” she said.
“But when we came here, we felt the opposite. We love this country.”